As the storm rolled on by we were hit with a lot of water. Over 7+ inches in fact. The amount of rain always important. It is always the one thing we do after a storm is to call the neighbor and ask how much rain they got. I think it is also an indirect way to check on one another with out saying so. This picture above is one of our cow pastures. It is usually filled with cows grazing, but not today. When I took this picture they were up getting milked and checked over for any issues they may have had from the storm. After that they are allowed back out into their shed and pasture. You would be surprised some don’t mind the rain and will stay out. However this storm was an exception. The picture below is what it normally looks like.
You know when they get close cause you can hear them as they gather their mouths full of green grass and chew. You can hear them sniffing too. If you sit really still they will come check you out. Pop their ears up, sniff, and sometimes lick you. Other times they will sniff you and touch you accidentally, then jump a mile. Sometimes if they sniff you and recognize the smell then they will almost knock you down rubbing on you.
As the tropical storm moved north, clear skies moved in. The corn still standing, and the soy beans adding new growth as they reach for the sun. The barn is drying out, and the cows have resumed to their place of grazing. We were blessed that our corn is still standing, and the wind didn’t cause to much damage to the buildings and sheds. Many around us lost their homes to short lived tornados that pop up in tropical storms. For us, its moving on after the storm. For others they are still living the reality of storms.
As a tropical storm moves threw the area this morning we are reminded that not all days are sunsets, and cute babies. This morning was one of them. Humidity make concrete sweat. It becomes slick. We put straw down to help with traction, and have lots of fans blowing as we try to move air threw the sheds. Today is a day where the cows choose to stay under cover. We have bedded up with fresh bedding and doubled checked on everyone. Tornado watches and warnings are often missed and we learn to watch the skies, feel for temperature change, and wind direction. We often cant hear anything due to the load noise of rain on the tin roof.
However before the storm things were going as they should. The boys are doing well in their new field. They have plenty of grass fresh water and not only natural shade from trees, but also a shed.
Our butter is as yellow as ever. Remember the Guernsey cow milk is a little bit more yellow than the regular milk you see in the store. Its the beta carotene that gives the milk its namesake golden color. Butter becomes a naturally more yellow or golden in color. This butter is available locally, and can be ordered online. Just drop us an email.
Canning and preparing for the winter months is another chore often missed. We put up food, and bedding for the cows, but at the same time put as much as we can up for ourselves. Everything from corn, and tomato sauce to pickles, jellies and jams. Some jams don’t make it to Christmas. I try to make sure I put plenty up if it is going to last until next year. It is nice to have a taste of summer on those cold short dark days in the winter.
July 4th 2020 on the farm really hasn’t changed from previous years. This year no local fireworks. Covid 19 on the farm hasn’t changed our day to day activities. It’s all close family here and we still get up milk, feed, harvest, etc. Only when we leave the farm or reads the news do we hear about the statistics. Only when we check the market prices do we see and hear about the devastating numbers. No matter what with milk feed harvest and continue our farm chores. Our animals still depend on us they know nothing of what is happening off the farm.
Meet Juniper a heifer born in late June. She and her mother Joy are doing great.
Meet our boys. We decided to put the boys all together. They have their own pasture. They range in age but seem to be doing well together.
My son captured this image last night. It seems there were a few issues with the chopper. However it’s straight and my husband went on to chop.
The sun is setting, but we are so far behind we need to keep running. This field will be the last to chop and go in the silo for the cows. Our cover crop, and our first cutting of alfalfa is being chopped. This will be some of the free choice feeds they will have available to them this summer. Especially when the grass slows in growth due to heat and lack of rain. Then in the fall we will chop corn silage for them to have over the winter.
The rain has slowed us down. The fields have been extremely wet. The last thing we want is to tear up the field or get a tractor stuck. We should have our corn planted and working on planting soybeans, but it just isn’t the case this year.
Good evening, it’s been a while, and life has changed for so many people.
The covid 19 has effected us all in one way or another. Here on the farm life keeps moving forward. Our care for our animals still continues. Fields are being plowed and prepped for planting. We are still making cheese and butter for the Guernsey Depot, as well as providing as much local produce and products as we can.
The coronavirus something that we can vaccinate for in our calves. It’s been around for a long time, however now it has mutated so it can now effect humans.
Our store has made changes to lowering the number of customers allowed in and recommending wearing facemasks. Constantly cleaning counters, door knobs, and areas frequently touched by customers seems to be a job to it’s self.
We are each given a day to which the sun touches us. Our cows don’t know about covid 19, just the warmth of the new spring season. They continue to keep life simple. Some days I feel we need the same. Slow down watch the sunrise, soak up the sun, wonder the pastures seeing the new growth of spring.
We will get threw this. Stay safe and mind social distance.
The setting sun is beautiful. Yeah it’s cold and until the first of March, field work is really not happening. Laws keep us from spreading manure during certain times of the year. This year they sent out a memo allowing commercial fertilizer could begin about a week ago. However the ground was still to soft. We have stored manure, and as soon as the ground is fit we can start spreading. Until then we are still fixing things and preparing for the new season.
One new thing we were able to add, was a walk in cooler for our cheeses and butters. It seems like a little thing but for us it is huge. We do most all the work ourselves. Sure it would be nice to call and have someone come in and do it, but it’s costly. So little by little we make changes.
We also plan to have some new cheese flavors on the market. Being from the Eastern Shore of Maryland we have 3 shakers on the table. Salt, Pepper, and Old Bay….or JO depending on your desire. So it comes at no surprise that one of our new cheese flavors will be a Colby cheese seasoned with Old Bay. It will need to age for 60 days, but it’s should be ready before the boating season begins.
We are given a beautiful sun rise and sunset every day. Some days it is clouded and dark but it is how we choose to see it. To us each day is beautiful and a blessing. Have a great day.
Well, the milk price is still down, and even with it increasing dairy farmers still have debt. Milk co-ops are in control of what farmers do, get, and their future. Finding ways to diversify is one way to stay in the business. Really any business. My father once told me, never put all your eggs in one basket. It can all be gone in an instant. Diversity, helps balance out loss. When it comes to dairy farming, the milk co-op wants total control therefore leaving diversity out of the picture.
So today at the Pennsylvania Dairy Summit, I spoke about our journey. No two journeys are the same, but it helps to hear what others have done. How did they diversify their dairy business.
We have officially opened the Guernsey Depot. Fresh produce, meats, dairy, and many other locally grown, and produced products. Our goal is to be the place consumers can go to get good local products. Our local farmers market offers so many different products, but come mid week there is no where to purchase all those wonderful foods. We hope to fill that void. It gives us a chance to sell our farm products, and provide other local things. Stay local, buy local.
Ask about out products. Our goal is to be able to tell you where that product came from and it’s journey from farm to store. We all want to eat better, and we want to provide the best products possible.
So why in the name The Guernsey Depot?
We are very partial to the Guernsey cow. This breed of dairy cow is unique and we have owned and milk only Guernsey’s. The store is filled with many Guernsey things, of course I’m always adding more.
The Depot, well back in the 1920’s our milk was loaded and taken by horse and buggy about 4 miles up the road to the plant. The milk plant bottled and loaded the milk into railroad cars. The store we just opened sits along what used to be railroad tracks. The same rail road line that made its way past the old bottling plant that our milk originally shipped out on in the 1920’s. Therefore The Guernsey Depot.
The store does have its own Facebook page, but it will share the website with the farm. From farm to store….stay local, buy local, and follow it’s journey.
Our journey into the new year is full of work, and following dreams. As hard and rewarding as 2019 was, we wouldn’t be where we are today. 2019 caused a great deal of physical and emotional pain and loss, but also new birth, ideas and options.
Like on one of our ponds the sun will rise giving us new day in a new year and even a new decade. The roaring 20’s and any thing is possible. For us we will open our new store “The Guernsey Depot”. Our goal is not to just give easier access to our Guernsey products, but other local grown and produced products. From soaps, to carrots, cheese, to frozen meats and more. You will have the chance to know exactly where your product originated, and how it was grown or produced. Finally you will be investing back into the local economy.
We wish everyone a happy and healthy New year. We thank everyone who has tried our Guernsey butter and cheeses. We truly appreciate all of you.
This year has been an incredible journey. There has been so much change. We have said good bye to loved ones, started new ventures, and probably everything in between. We took faith in what we have been given, have been working to share it with our community. We are truly thankful for all who have supported us. I have said from the beginning our customers are half the equation. Thank you, and we look forward to a bright 2020.
As we move forward into 2020, we are still changing. Many have herd and questioned what we have been into. I’m the quiet one that has always wanted my ducks in a row before I do things. Last summer the heat took a toll on my MS, and our boys stood up to the challenge and filled in where I couldn’t. My husband, however decided we needed to make a change. After working on many different ideas, one has came to us.
We have been working on opening a small store. This has actually been a dream of the boys, and this will also keep me in a controlled climate. There is one problem our dairy products won’t fill the store. Our plan is to bring as many locally grown/produced products from our ag community into one space. We plan to call this place, “The Guernsey Depot”.